Presentation on theme: "Introduction to the theme of Flowers for Algernon"— Presentation transcript:
1 Introduction to the theme of Flowers for Algernon Selective Reduction
2 Could this really happen in real life? IntroductionThe main character in Flowers for Algernon is a mentally- retarded adult male named Charlie. He is selected to be the “guinea pig” for an experimental surgery because the doctors consider him “expendable.”Could this really happen in real life?It happens every day.
3 Quality of LifeEvery day doctors, emergency personnel, and families decide who is “expendable.”This is usually determined based on the expected“quality of life” of the “expendable” person.The fireman only has time to save one person from the burning houseThe doctor chooses which one of the seriously injured soldiers is most likely to thrive as a result of having an operationThe police and paramedics decide which of the accident victims to saveThe parent decides which conjoined twin to save
4 Every day YOU look at different people and decide who is “worth” listening to, getting to know, and being friends with based on the “value” you place on their life.
5 Life Boat TheoryImagine that you were on a ship that has just sunk. You managed to make it to the last life boat. However, there are 9 people on the life boat that is only designed for four. So, 5 people have to either voluntarily get off the life boat or be thrown overboard by a majority rule. Getting off the life boat means certain death.Your assignment is to decide who should remain on the life boat. The following is a list of the 9 people on board:A 17 year-old, mentally-retarded girlAn infant whose parents died when the ship sankA 30 year-old geniusA 50 year-old who doesn’t know that his cancer has returned.A 70 year-old woman who requires the aid of a walkerAn obese, 40 year-old mother of three young childrenA ex-convict who was in prison for murderYouYour mother
6 Which life should be allowed to continue to exist? Premature baby born at just Elderly man with a26 weeks gestation terminal illness8.6 ounces
7 How Could a Life be Terminated Legally? Rarely do we have to“throw someone overboard,”but there are four legal waysin which we end a lifedue to “lack of quality”:AbortionEuthanasiaAssisted SuicideFertility Treatments
8 #1 - AbortionAn abortion is the removal or expulsion of an embryo or fetus from the uterus, resulting in or caused by its death.The spontaneous expulsion of a fetus or embryo before the 20th week is commonly known as a miscarriage.Induced abortion is the removal or expulsion of an embryo or fetus by medical, surgical, or other means at any point during human pregnancy for therapeutic or elective reasons.The approximate number of induced abortions performed worldwide in 2003 was 42 million.
9 AbortionIn spite of effective and widely available birth control methods, more than half of the 6 million pregnancies occurring each year in the United States are considered unplanned by the women who are pregnant. Of these unplanned pregnancies, about half end in abortion.Abortions performed prior to 9 weeks are performed either surgically (a procedure) or medically (with drugs). From 9 weeks until 14 weeks, an abortion is performed by a dilatation and suction curettage procedure.After 14 weeks, surgical abortions are performed by a dilatation and evacuation procedure.After 20 weeks of gestation, abortions can be performed by labor induction, prostaglandin labor induction, saline infusion, dilatation and extraction, or partial birth abortion.
10 Euthanasia / Assisted Suicide What is the difference betweeneuthanasia and assisted suicide?One way to distinguish them is to look at the last act – the act without which death would not occur.Using this distinction, if a third party performs the last act that intentionally causes a patient’s death, euthanasia has occurred. For example, giving a patient a lethal injection or putting a plastic bag over her head to suffocate her would be considered euthanasia.On the other hand, if the person who dies performs the last act, assisted suicide has taken place. Thus it would be assisted suicide if a person swallows an overdose of drugs that has been provided by a doctor for the purpose of causing death. It would also be assisted suicide if a patient pushes a switch to trigger a fatal injection after the doctor has inserted an intravenous needle into the patient’s vein.
11 #2 - Euthanasia Notice that the caption says, “It’s about mercy.” The adults are giving this child medicine that will kill him – because both of his parents died of Aids and he has AidsIsn’t it more merciful to kill him than to let him grow up sick in an orphanage?The government will have to pay for all of his medicine and all of his living necessities.
12 Definitions of Euthanasia Euthanasia: the intentional killing by act or omission of a dependent human beingfor his or her alleged benefit. (The key word here is "intentional". If death is notintended, it is not an act of euthanasia)Voluntary euthanasia: When the person who is killed has requested to be killed.Non-voluntary: When the person who is killed made no request and gave noconsent.Involuntary euthanasia: When the person who is killed made an expressed wish tothe contrary.Assisted suicide: Someone provides an individual with the information, guidance,and means to take his or her own life with the intention that they will be used forthis purpose. When it is a doctor who helps another person to kill themselves it iscalled "physician assisted suicide."Euthanasia By Action: Intentionally causing a person's death by performing anaction such as by giving a lethal injection.Euthanasia By Omission: Intentionally causing death by not providing necessaryand ordinary (usual and customary) care or food and water.
13 Examples of Euthanasia InfanticideAbortionPremature babiesConcentration CampsSeverely handicappedPeople who are brain deadCapital punishmentPeople who areterminally illSeverely mentallyretardedElderlyHomelessDrug Addicts
14 Infanticide = Euthanasia In the 1970’s, China was facing apopulation explosion; so thegovernment ordered a “one childper family law.”The government enforced this law withforced abortions and compulsorysterilizations.In rural China where boys are valuedas extra hands who will support theirparents in their old age, and who will carry on the family name, girls areviewed as less desirable. If a baby if unwanted, she is abandoned,suffocated or drowned soon after birth.This preference for male children has led to approximately 10,000 girlinfants being killed in China each year.Now China has a major gender-ratio problem. China refers to this asthe “missing girl” phenomenon.China's orphanages are full of girlswho have been abandoned
15 People who are Mentally Disabled Are sometimes Aborted or Euthanized
16 People who are Physically Disabled are sometimes Aborted or Euthanized QuadriplegicAmputeeCystic Fibrosis
17 People who have a Physical Deformity Are sometimes Aborted or Euthanized
18 Conjoined Twins are sometimes Aborted or Euthanized
19 People who are Homeless Are sometimes the victims of Euthanasia
20 People in 3rd World Countries Are sometimes Euthanized
21 Capital Punishment is a form of Euthanasia Electric ChairGas ChamberLethal Injection
27 People who are Drug Addicts Sometimes ask for Assisted Suicide
28 #4 - In Infertility Treatment, Some Embryos are Sacrificed while others are Saved
29 In Infertility Treatment, Frozen Embryos live in Containers awaiting Adoption, Implantation, or Disposal
30 Problems with Selective Reduction Some people thrive even though life deals them unimaginable circumstances.2. Who chooses whose life is not worth living?
31 Some people thrive even though life deals them unimaginable circumstances
32 Who Determines Whose Life is Worth Living Who Determines Whose Life is Worth Living? In Nazi Germany, Hitler decided that only the Arian race was worthy of living
33 Results of one man deciding an entire group of people were not worthy to live: Nazi Germany Separating the men from the women.A concentration camp for men.
34 Nazi Germany: People were euthanized in the gas chamber and then their bodies were burned in the furnacesGas ChamberFurnaces
35 Nazi Germany: Euthanasia Death Camps Bodies waiting for cremationMass grave
36 In Summary, There are at Least Four Legal types of Selective Reduction Abortion Assisted SuicideEuthanasia Fertility TreatmentsAll of them are used in America and in other parts of the world today. So, what happened to Charlie Gordon in the story Flowers for Algernon is definitely possible. Since it ispossible, this novel could be considered science fiction.The author, Daniel Keyes, was against judgingsomeone just because he/she has a handicap. DanielKeyes’ theme for the novel is that EVERYONE is worthy tolive and deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.